Roblox Looks to Capture Network Effects From AI, Metaverse

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    The metaverse, the creator economy, and artificial intelligence (AI) are among the biggest trends of the 21st century.

    And video game developer Roblox sits at the intersection of all three with its first-ever quarter of more than $1 billion in bookings.

    This is as Roblox announced On Wednesday (February 7), it will announce its fourth quarter and full-year 2023 financial and operating results before the market opens.

    “We continue to drive innovation and new experiences across the Roblox platform, ending 2023 with even stronger growth. We are optimistic and civil as we continue to drive innovation and new experiences across the Roblox platform. We enter 2024 with even more confidence that we can achieve our long-term goal of Roblox founder and CEO david bazucchi he told investors. “Our growth continues to be the result of innovation across our platforms.”

    Roblox CFO Michael Guthrie added, “We ended the year with our highest quarterly booking growth rate in two years, reaching $1 billion in bookings in the first quarter.”

    Bookings were $1.12 billion, an increase of 25% year over year.

    read more: Roblox launches creator subscriptions as gaming companies drive recurring revenue

    According to the company Financial data, reservations are generated from the sale of virtual currency and can ultimately be converted into virtual items on the Roblox platform. Virtual currency sales reflected as reservations include his one-time purchases or monthly subscriptions purchased through payment processors or prepaid cards.

    Roblox's average monthly unique payers were 15.9 million, an increase of 18% year-over-year, and the average booking per monthly unique payer was $23.65, an increase of 6% year-over-year.

    What about the payment method behind the reservation?

    “We've made significant progress over the past year wherever prepaid cards are accepted around the world,” executives told investors.

    Over the past fiscal year, Roblox stock rose 60.6%, while the S&P 500 Information Technology Sector Index rose 56.4%. These numbers are compared to the benchmark S&P 500 index, which rose 24.2% in FY23.

    As of Wednesday's report, the company's stock price was up more than 10% following strong performance that beat consensus estimates for revenue and bottom line. Roblox executives said they are confident they can maintain 20% year-over-year revenue growth through 2027.

    Capturing the network effects of disruptive technologies

    In the most recent fourth quarter, Roblox became available not only on Sony Playstation, but also on the Meta Quest VR headset, and during the Q&A portion of the earnings call, many investors talked about the recent Apple Vision Pro mixed reality (MR) We put pressure on Roblox about the launch. headset.

    When asked about the Apple Vision headset, the Roblox executive said, “We're really proud to be a part of Meta and Quest.” “Vision Pro is an interesting candidate, and there are others as well. Looking to the future…things may move beyond VR. [virtual reality] to AR [augmented reality] As these platforms become more popular, so too will MR. ”

    Users spent 15.5 billion hours on Roblox, an increase of 21% year over year. Executives say they expect this number to continue to grow as lifetime installations of new AR/VR/MR devices increase.

    See also: 216 million reasons why Mango, LensCrafts, and Worldline are betting on the Metaverse

    When it comes to AI, the AI ​​opportunity at Roblox “is popping up everywhere,” CEO Baszucki told investors, stressing that “we've been working on this behind the scenes for years.”

    “Our proprietary AI models power real-time chat translation, enabling people around the world to communicate with people chatting in different languages, and voice chat is becoming more popular,” he said. added.

    “We continue to deploy AI around real-time image, audio, and chat moderation to make our entire safety platform more efficient,” said Baszucki.

    Executives also said they expect to expand Roblox's brand-related microtransactions and advertising business over time as more companies invest in building a presence on Roblox. However, he did not provide a breakdown of the numbers for ongoing advertising initiatives.

    The video game platform is looking to grow and expand its audience beyond its founding under-13 age group.

    Roblox's CFO says, “Older users tend to be more profitable based on the time they spend on the platform.” “Slow and steady improvements in core technologies have enabled the developer community to build better things… [which has] It naturally attracted an older audience. ”


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